Thursday, July 21, 1983
The Michigan Daily
NCAA TV debate goes on
By MIKE BERRES
First of a two-part series
"You would have to be a Philadelphia
lawyer to completely understand
what's going on," said Will Perry,
Michigan's assistant athletic director
on Tuesday, summing up the chaotic
college football television righta
situation currently being reviewed by
the Supreme Court.
LAST YEAR the University of
Oklahoma and the University of
Georgia were hosting football games
that the National Collegiate Athletic
Association (NCAA) had decided not to
televise. Each college's athletic
association offered and sold the
television rights to the highest bidder,
which was forbidden under NCAA
rules. The NCAA informed them that
they were not allowed to do this because
the NCAA had exclusive television
rights to all NCAA teams.
The NCAA's announcement of ex-
clusive rights was the first shot fired in
a struggle over the control of college
football television rights and the
millions of dollars that goes with the
privilege. That struggle has turned into
Michigan Athletic Director Don
Canham was on the original NCAA
committee which set up the TV rules
and regulations in 1955.
"THINGS HAVE CHANGED," said
Canham. "It's a whole new ballgame.
Today there are the networks, cable,
and pay TV. Some of the rules are out-
One of these is the rule limiting NCAA
teams to six televised appearances
over a two year period.
"Both Michigan and Illinois were on
four times last year," Canham ex-.
'No matter what happens, the Big Ten and
Michigan will be better off (financially) this year
than last year.'
University athlktic director
plained. "We can appear on TV only
twice (under the NCAA contract)."
Michigan plays Washington and Ohio
State, as well as Illinois. "Our Illinois
game may be pivotal in the Big Ten
race. Under the NCAA plan, one of
those weeks they'll have to show a Slip-
pery Rock-Shippensburg type game."
IT WAS THAT very rule that kept the
NCAA from televising Oklahoma or
The athletic associations of each
university then sued the NCAA in a New
Mexico federal court. The schools
claimed that the NCAA had violated the
Sherman Act, a major antitrust law, by
controlling the televising of college
U.S. District Court Judge Juan Bur-
ciaga agreed with Oklahoma and
Georgia in their lawsuit. In his
judgment, Burciaga nullified a $263.5
million TV contract the NCAA had with
the ABC, CBS, and WTBS networks.
HOW MUCH money was at stake?
According to Perry, "The networks
paid $1.1 million for a nationally
televised game and $620,000 for a
regional game last year. The NCAA
takes 7% right off the top."
Approximately $75 million was paid
by the networks for last year's rights.
By nullifying the contract, the NCAA
will automatically lose $14 million of
the $200 million it would have received
for the remainder of the contract. In
addition it will also lose other fees of
various amounts paid by the univer-
The NCAA, exercising their con-
stitutional right and not wanting to be
left without a slice of the TV pie, ap-
pealed to the next court up. The 10th Cir-
cuit Court agreed to postpone the affect
of the lower court's ruling until it had
had a chance to review the case. The
three judge panel followed Burciaga's
decision and lifted their stay last May.
THE NCAA then asked for another
stay so that the entire nine-man panel
of the 10th Circuit Court could review
the case. It was denied two weeks ago.
The affect of this decision was to open
up the TV negotiating rights to the
schools or a designated committee such
as the College Football Association
(CFA). Michigan, according to
Canham, will negotiate as a part of the
"The Big Ten," said Canham, "will
stick together. We won't sign an.,
agreement until we've all agreed upon
The NCAA took its final course of ac-
tion last week when it asked Supreme
Court Justice Byron White to issue a
temporary stay until the Supreme
Court could hear the case and render its
decision. Such a decision would occur in
late 1983 or early 1914. A stay, whether
temporary or permanent, would keep
things as they are: the NCAA in control.
"Right now the best action that could
be taken is to set up a package similar
to the NCAA's, but voluntary, for the
1913 season," Canham said.
Specifically he offered three possible
solutions to the problem which could be
used for the 1983 season: 1) have the
universities involved decide by vote to
keep the NCAA plan, 2) adopt a plan
similar to the NCAA's but allow the net-
works to decide which games get
televised, 3) negoatiate as conferences and
have a committee make decisions con-
cerning the non-conference games.
AS OF NOW things are on hold.
White has put a temporary stay on any
lower court decision. This decision sur-
prised many observers of the case
because Justice White does not oversee
the U.S. District Court in New Mexico.
That's kind of like the home plate um-
pire overruling a close call at first base.
Canham explained why it really
wasn't a surprise: "He's doing his job
and wants to hear both sides of-the case.
He gave Oklahoma and Georgia 48 hours
to file their briefs with him. They did
and he'll make a judgement based on
Most legal observers feel that White
will uphold the decision of the lower
courts and lift a stay, according to
Canham. This could launch a whole new
set of problems for the NCAA and
"No matter what happens, the Big
Ten and Michigan will be better off
(financially) this year than last year,"
Saturday: A look at the
ramifications for the Universitv
From wire service reports
OAKLAND, Calif. - Bill Almon broke out of a slump with a
three-run homer in a six-run seventh inning yesterday and
Dwayne Murphy drove in three runs with a homer and a
single to lead the Oakland A's to a 9-2 victory over the Detroit
Oakland, which had fallen behind 2-1 in the top half of the
seventh, scored all six runs off reliever Doug Bair, 3-1. Bair,
acquired by Detroit on June 21 in a trade with St. Louis, had
pitched 191-3 scoreless innings since joining the Tigers.
BAIR GAVE UP a single to Mike Heath, a bunt base hit to
Tony Phillips and another single by Rickey Henderson, who
earlier stole his 55th base of the season, which singled home
Heath. Murphy then delivered Phillips and Henderson with a
Davey Lopes then reached base on an error, and after the
inning's second out, Almon hit his third home run of the
season over the left-field fence.
Chris Codiroli, 7-6, scattered seven hits to gain the victory
as the A's and Tigers split their six-game season series.
Murphy's homer in the sixth inning gave Oakland a 1-0
lead. But he misplayed a fly to deep center by Rick Leach in
the seventh into a double which scored Larry Herndon, who
had singled, and Wayne Krenchicki who had walked.
Codiroli pitched his fourth complete game, striking out
three ad walking four.
Rickey Henderson, shown here getting picked off in a game against Detroit last year, knocked in three runs
and scored two to help the Oakland A's down the Detroit Tigers 9-2 in Oakland yesterday afternoon.